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MLB's youngest player shuts down Yankees

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres would have loved to have had this win four years ago.

Rookie Oliver Perez, at 20 the youngest player in the majors, won again in his second big league start as the Padres beat David Wells and the Yankees 9-1 Friday night.

In October 1998, the Yankees completed their World Series sweep
with two victories in San Diego. Wells, who went to the same San
Diego high school as former Yankee Don Larsen, won Game 1 of that
Series despite allowing two homers by Greg Vaughn and one by Tony Gwynn.

A crowd of 55,858 saw the Padres beat the Yankees with an anemic
lineup that had neither of their 3-4 hitters -- Phil Nevin is on the disabled list and Ryan Klesko has a sore right wrist -- and only one
player hitting above .250.

San Diego has only two players left from its '98 Series team, and neither got in the game. Closer Trevor Hoffman wasn't needed and Mark Sweeney is on the DL.

"To beat a good ballclub like that, you know, it's been a rough
year for us, so sure, it's a good feeling,'' manager Bruce Bochy
said. "I'm proud of that kid. We made some great plays defensively. It takes a well-played game to beat these guys.''

Coming off their highest scoring three-game series since 1951,
the Yankees managed just one run against Perez (2-0).

"I thank God that I pitched OK tonight,'' Perez said through a translator. "The defense helped me a lot. I was a little nervous tonight, but I calmed down and did my work.''

Wells (7-5) allowed the first three runs Friday night and Ramiro
Mendoza allowed four in the seventh, including a three-run double
by Wiki Gonzalez. Two of the runs in the seventh were unearned
because of third baseman Ron Coomer's throwing error.

Leading 3-1, San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the
seventh on infield singles by Deivi Cruz and Ron Gant and Coomer's
error on Bubba Trammell's grounder.

Gonzalez then doubled over the head of left fielder Rondell
White, who broke in on the ball and then froze. Gonzalez, who took
third on the throw, scored on a fielder's choice.

Perez, who beat Seattle on Sunday in his major league debut,
dodged trouble in the fourth and fifth innings and was backed by
three double plays. The left-hander left to a standing ovation
after allowing Alfonso Soriano's two-out single in the seventh. He
gave up one run and six hits, struck out three and walked five.

"That's two tough starts for him, Seattle and New York,'' Bochy said.

Perez walked three and gave up a single in the fourth inning but
only allowed White's bases-loaded sacrifice fly that pulled the
Yankees to within 2-1. Perez then walked Nick Johnson to load the
bases again, but Wells struck out to end the inning.

Gonzalez, the Padres' catcher, kept telling Perez to trust
himself.

"When he sees Bernie Williams come to home plate, Derek Jeter, you know, the guy's got a big name, he thinks he has to make a
perfect pitch,'' Gonzalez said. "I tell him, 'Just let it go,
relax, and let the guys behind you make the play, they're going to
do it for you. You've just got to trust them.'''

Jeter was impressed with Perez's composure.

"We didn't get anything started out there,'' Jeter said. "He
was basically in control most of the night.''

The Padres got to Wells early. Trammell had a two-run single in
the first and Mark Kotsay a sacrifice fly in the fourth, which was
extended because of a fielding error on Wells.

"I didn't make good pitches,'' Wells said. "I didn't really
feel comfortable on the mound at first.''

Gant singled in two runs in the eighth.

Wells lasted six innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on
six hits. He struck out seven and walked two.

In the fifth, Perez put runners on first and second with none
out but escaped. Second baseman Julius Matos scooped up Jeter's grounder and tried to tag Soriano as he ran to second, but the ball popped loose for an error. Matos redeemed himself by starting a
double play on Bernie Williams' grounder.

Game notes
Yankees 1B Jason Giambi was a late scratch with a jammed
right thumb. ... Roger Clemens isn't expected to miss a start after
being forced out of Thursday's game at Colorado after he was hit on
the right forearm by a line drive. Clemens is scheduled to start
Wednesday at Baltimore, but manager Joe Torre said he could be
pushed back a day or two. ... The Yankees scored 41 runs in three
games against Colorado ... RHP Bobby Jones was put on the 15-day
disabled list with a strained pitching elbow. RHP Jake Peavy, 21,
was promoted from Double-A Mobile and will make his big league
debut against the Yankees on Saturday afternoon.